The Air Jordan 12 was designed by Tinker Hatfield and was the twelfth Air Jordan shoe produced for Michael Jordan. It first came out in 1996 and was released during the 1996 to 1997 NBA season.

Throughout its run, the shoe had five colorways:

  • The Taxi
  • White and Red
  • Obsidian
  • Flu Game
  • Playoffs

The Air Jordan 12 was the first Nike Air Jordan sneaker to have Zoom Air cushioning. This was a cushion encased in Phylon, which was placed above a carbon fiber midfoot shank. The sneaker was primarily designed with quality full-grain leather, which some said lacked aeration.

Although the Air Jordan 12 was born out of the Air Jordan 11, which has been said to have been the greatest Air Jordan, it still ended up very trendy upon its release. It was the first Air Jordan that didn’t have a Nike or Swoosh logo, although it came in a Nike shoe box.

In 1997, the Jordan Brand was formed, which quickly became an internationally popular brand. To date, the Air Jordan 12 is still going strong with designs like the Jordan 1 Retro High OG Light Fusion Red and others set to be released this year.

The Twist has a leather base with a stark red contrast. The tongue and collar lining have a university red flair. This upcoming retro will likely feature a design close to 1996, since throughout 2020, Nike returned to its focus on quality craftsmanship. The expected launch date for the Twist is on July 31, 2021, and is expected to cost USD$190.

History Of The Jordan 12 Retros

The first Air Jordan 12 retros were released from 2003 to 2004, with the Nubuck colorway Air Jordan 12 Retro selling through the first-ever exclusive online release. It was revolutionary at the time because buying shoes online wasn’t a common thing. The shoes were made available only to members of and One would get a time slot and an internet link to make the purchase. The Nike site was overwhelmed by the responses that it crashed.

Ten Air Jordan 12 Retros had, however, been released by June 2004. These included the original black and red colorway with leather uppers and a French blue version designed after Michael Jordan had been fired from the Wizards.

An Air Jordan 12 Retro edition for women, called the UNC and Melo PE, was also released. They later included men’s sizes, although they were limited. The Air Jordan 12 Retro also had a low-top design, which was the first time in the history of the Air Jordan 12.


After 2004, the Air Jordan 12 Retro took a break until 2008, when it returned as part of the Countdown. In that same year, the first Taxi colorway retro was released in its original design, since in the previous 2004 release, it had been on a low top.

The second spell for the Air Jordan 12 Retro was in 2009. The Nubuck got the ball rolling. There were three more colorways after that, including the Rising Sun. The original black and red colorway also returned, but with a Nubuck upper, which the Flu Game inspired. There was a unique set of details throughout the design in honor of Michael Jordan’s performance.


The third Air Jordan 12 Retro run was in 2012. There were three releases, including the Playoff edition and the original Obsidian.

In 2013, the Air Jordan 12 Retro made another appearance through the return of the original Taxi colorway, this time, and for the first time, as a GR––its previous releases had come in Low Top retros and also packaged in the Jordan 11 and 12 Collezione Countdown Pack.

To Date

Since then, there’s been nothing to stop the Air Jordan 12. The full release roster for this year hasn’t been published yet, but the Jordan 12 has already done some makeups for 2021. As previously mentioned, the latest is called the Twist which is designed in White, University Red, and Black.

Reasons To Buy

  • Most wearers say the Air Jordan 12 Retro is stylish and can be worn with anything.
  • Some feel it’s an authentic basketball shoe and is one of the most comfortable designs in the Air Jordan retro collection.
  • Some buyers have said these shoes fit like a glove, and they’re durable. Users can attest that the design is strong as a tank.
  • Some reviewers have observed that it has a high-top collar and a lockdown that give excellent support.
  • Some players have remarked that the traction is suitable for all turfs and surfaces.
  • Despite its looks, the Air Jordan 12 Retro has been said to be relatively light.

Reasons Not To Buy

  • Most testers have reported that the Air Jordan 12 Retro usually breaks in after a while.
  • Some reviewers have detailed manufacturing defects like excess or visible glue here and there.
  • Some buyers claim that these shoes get dirty easily and can be hard to clean.

Bottom line

The Air Jordan 12 Retros are, no doubt, aesthetically pleasing. This gives them both the looks and the utility. They could be the best Air Jordans on and off the court. They have excellent cushioning, great traction, quality materials, and glove-like fitting and support.